Last night NBC aired what might – but hopefully won’t – be the series finale of their grossly underrated Chuck. The series, starring Zachary Levi, focuses on an average guy who just happens to have all the top secret intel the government has downloaded into his brain. Naturally, he becomes a top asset for the government and is forced to foil baddies while hiding his identity on a regular basis.
Actually, his identity has been so well hidden that no one knows who he is. Seriously, no one watches the show… well, almost no one. The numbers generated by the show last night weren’t very good. Which is such a shame, because the majority of the episode was utterly and completely fantastic.
Spoilers are about to abound, so if you don’t want to know what happened last night, odds are you ought to not read any more.
The two weddings of Ellie and Awesome played out beautifully, particularly the utterly brilliant performance by Jeffster and the Back to the Future reference therein. The second wedding was purely the sappy necessary bit, but the first wedding really showed how well the show combines action and humor and drama. There was Ellie, all happy about her wedding, but Chevy Chase showed, demanded the Intersect cube, and Morgan had to stall the wedding. Casey parachuted in and saved the day, or at least the world; he didn’t so much save the wedding which was destroyed by Jeffster’s shenanigans.
There was so much packed into the wedding scenes, all of which highlighted just how good the show can be. There was Chuck’s struggle with his family, Chuck’s struggle with his relationship with Sarah, the world ending, and the clowns from the Buy More. There was enough in there for an entire episode of television, and the show packed it all in and left time for more.
Okay, maybe that last bit was a mistake, because I wasn’t really a huge fan of the ending. Those of you paying attention to the show know that Chuck had the Intersect taken out of his head last week. It made Chuck’s government position unnecessary and provided the show with no reason for Casey and Sarah to be sticking around and getting into trouble on a weekly basis. Consequently, the last act in the finale was entirely about making Chuck important again, and I’m just not sure I like the results.
Chuck ended up downloading a new-and-improved Intersect into his head. It makes complete sense that Chuck had to end up with intel in his brain again, but the fact that the new Intersect made him into a superhero is a bit much to take. Chuck, just like Neo, now knows kung fu (and he probably knows a lot more than that too).
How does the show possibly proceed from that point? Chuck doesn’t need Sarah and Casey to protect him anymore, Chuck’s subconscious will just kick in anytime he gets into trouble. He can now protect Sarah and Casey as well as, or maybe even better than, they can protect him.
Making Chuck into a superhero may open up new avenues for the series (if it gets renewed, fingers crossed), but I hope he doesn’t end up taking on the Joker or Lex Luthor next season. For me, that’s not what the show has been about; it’s been about the characters and this average (even if he knows some secrets) guy being tossed into situations he can’t handle. Now, it looks like he can handle all those situations and more.
Okay, deep breath… I actually believe that Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak, and the rest of the gang over at the show have already considered these issues, and that if the show gets picked up will have a solution. I really can’t wait to see what it is.
C’mon, NBC, you know you want to keep the show going, even if it’s a 13-episode mini-season.